Are you a lover of lattes? A connoisseur of cappuccinos? An appreciator of americanos?
Perhaps you just love coffee, plain and simple. Whether you’re a Keurig owner or an at-home espresso brewer, the appeal of being a barista is totally understandable. The aroma of coffee beans, the mellow vibes of cafes, and the seemingly universal coolness of professional baristas all make the job seem like it would be amazing.
However, being a barista is much more than pressing the start button on a coffee machine. There are complex recipes to memorize and complicated machines to navigate. If you’ve never worked in a coffee shop before, it might be difficult to market yourself as a good potential barista.
But, don’t give up on your marvelous macchiato dreams! We’ve got the perfect advice for how to become a barista with little or no experience.
Step One: Have the Best Barista Qualities
Baristas aren’t just the hip young people who hand you a latte with an easy smile. Doing their job requires a lot of skill and some crucial personal qualities. Before you embark on your barista journey, make sure that you have these characteristics, or that you’re at least committed to developing them.
Flexibility, Reliability, and Teamwork
The working hours for baristas aren’t those of a typical 9-5 job. Baristas often have to work evenings, weekends, and holidays. Make sure your personal schedule allows for that kind of flexibility. If you have outside commitments that would make an atypical work schedule difficult, you might want to think about how you can adjust them to work with your goal of being a barista.
Furthermore, you need to be reliable. Like most jobs, you should never show up late or miss a shift. This is because a large part of being a successful barista involves being a good team player.
Teamwork is essential to the success of a cafe. With hundreds to thousands of coffee orders coming in every hour, baristas need to know how to communicate effectively and efficiently with each other to fulfill those orders within an acceptable amount of time.
Attention to Detail
Making coffee isn’t all fun and games. It goes without saying, but people can get very particular about their coffee orders, especially before they’ve had their first sip of caffeine early in the morning. Baristas need to be sure that they have good attention to detail so that they don’t mess up an order.
It’s not just a matter of having an unsatisfied customer, either. Because coffee is a food product, you always need to take into account the possibility of allergens. For example, some people have serious sensitivities to lactose. If they order their latte with soy milk and you accidentally give them whole milk, you could cause a lot of harm, so be prepared to pay attention to every single detail!
Step Two: Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk
One of the best ways to land a job as a barista with little to no experience is by taking the time on your own to learn the basics of the job.
Memorize the Barista Language
Do you know the difference between a shot of espresso and a shot of ristretto? Can you explain what a flat white is? Baristas not only need this knowledge to do their jobs well, but they also get asked questions like this all day by curious customers. Take some time to learn the drink definitions and recipes.
Practice Makes Perfect
If you really want to wow a potential employer, arrive at your interview with some of the skills they’ll teach you in training already mastered. Practice crafting various drinks at home and have your family, friends, or roommates try them out for a taste test.
Another great way to practice being a barista is by watching videos online. In this day and age, there is a wonderful breadth of knowledge at our fingertips. Do your research and watch videos of professionals brewing various drinks. You never know… you might pick up some valuable tips that could give you a competitive edge!
Step Three: Get Your Dream Job
If you have the necessary qualities and you’ve studied hard, you’re probably ready to take the plunge and try to land your very first barista job. But, how can you compete against other applicants without the term “barista” already on your resume?
Be a Recognizable Regular
A great way to set yourself up for success in a potential interview is to first become a regular at the coffee shop you want to work at. Be friendly and kind with the baristas, and maybe even ask them for advice on becoming just like them. The more recognizable and pleasant your presence at the cafe is, the higher the chance that they’ll want to hire you. Even if you don’t have a lot of experience, you’ve already shown you can be a positive addition to their atmosphere!
Another great tip for becoming a barista with little to no experience is to start small and work your way up. For example, you can start out as a cashier or busser at the cafe and eventually gain the skills and training needed to graduate to full barista level.
Similarly, you can try to land a job with a large chain. Massive coffee shop companies like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts sometimes require little to no experience from their baristas. Though it may not be your ideal cafe, it’s a fantastic starting point and will help you gain the experience you might need to land a barista job at a hip, independent cafe.
In conclusion, if you’ve always wondered what it would be like to work as a barista, but had little to no experience and had no idea how to get started, look no further than our tips and tricks. Study up on the lingo, practice hard, and be positive! You’ll be on your way to espresso expertise in no time!